Southern Spain or Sicily

Old Jul 5th, 2018, 03:59 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Southern Spain or Sicily

I am new to Fodor's Forums and I am just starting to think about our family's next summer's vacation.

We just returned from our amazing 18-day trip to Greece, where we spent 9 days driving through the South Peloponnese, 7 days in Rhodes and 2 days in Athens. If anyone wants to know any further information about the areas we visited, please let us know.

We are considering two places for next June's trip, either Southern Spain (including Madrid) or Sicily. We have been to Barcelona and have also travelled to Italy twice before (Rome and areas north of Rome).

I know it is early, but any advice would be helpful.

Thank you.

Jen
cityoflights is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 05:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,291
Who are “we?” Children? A couple? Interests?
Length of time available for trip?
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 07:31 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 23,393
It would be lovely if you share any and all information about your trip to Greece. It will bring back nice memories for some, provide information and inspiration for others!

DH and I loved Sicily. We used public transportation to travel from Palermo to Siracusa to Sorrento. The amazing mosaics in Montreale were a highlight. We also enjoyed the beach town of Modello. Others have driven successfully although most avoided driving in Palermo.

I absoutely fell in love with Madrid mostly because of its 3 art galleries.

Please advise of your general preferences and the ages of your children. Also, search for Sicily and Madird on Fodor's---you'll find scads of info.
TDudette is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 08:48 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,217
My vote goes for southern Spain but mid-summer would be quite HOT - but I assume Sicily would be hot too! Maybe you could combine it with a few days in northern Spain and Madrid?
suec1 is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 09:51 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,922
She said that would include Madrid but Madrid is hot due to its geography, it's not cooler there in summer much. SOme areas in southern Spain wouldn't be that bad if near the ocean, like Malaga. Seville seems to be about the worst, worse than Malaga or Granada (for heat), or even Madrid. Cordoba, also, of course, is very hot also. Sicily isn't quite as hot probably because it's an island, at least most places on the coast.

I would not take a trip to southern Spain in June, period. I haven't been to Sicily so can't speak to its attractions. For Spain, sure, you could do northern Spain instead like Bilbao, etc., it's not that hot there.
Christina is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 10:14 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
We have two sons, ages 21 and 19, and we will have about the same amount of time as we had for this vacation, anywhere from 18 to 20 days. Our interests vary and include art, museums, archaeology, beach time, architecture, good local food, etc., the same interests most everyone has when travelling to Europe, I assume.

We love driving from place to place and also like visiting places somewhat off the beaten path.

This past trip, we stayed in Nafplio, which is a lovely town, the breathtaking castle village of Monemvasia and also stayed just outside Areopoli, and saw so many interesting sites. The driving and natural beauty of this area was amazing. We visited the Caves of Diros, Vathia, Simos Beach (a short ferry ride from the mainland to the island of Elafonisos), and is among the best beaches we have ever visited anywhere, climbed 1,000 steps to the Palamidi Fortress in Nafplio, ate lunch in Limeni, which is just gorgeous and saw the Mycenae ruins. But what was so impressive was the incredible scenery driving throughout this area. The only thing that was a let down was the food, which we found average at best, with few exceptions, even at higher rated restaurants.

We then took a direct flight to the Island of Rhodes, and loved it. We stayed just outside the Old Town which we spent a few days and nights exploring, and rented a car to visit the island. Agathi and Anthony Quinn beaches were beautiful, as was Prasonisi Beach, located at the southern tip of the island. Lindos was also beautiful and we spent a full day there, strolling through the narrow lanes and also visiting the Acropolis of Lindos and we had dinner at a great rooftop restaurant with views of the sea, the beach, and the town of Lindos. We also took a day trip to the Island of Simi, which was a highlight.

The people of Greece were so warm and welcoming and we plan on going back one day soon.
cityoflights is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 11:27 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,217
Just wondering - where did you stay on Rhodes? name of hotel? I'd been thinking of going there maybe next year but could not decide if i wanted to stay in the city or a more resort location. We would not have a car - not sure how getting around with public transportation would work. Thanks!
suec1 is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 11:38 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
How do you plan to get around - Sicily is best IMO by car as though there is ample public transit they are limited to places many tourists want to go - Spain however is great with trains if going to cities like Madrid - then take high-speed AVE trains to Seville, Cordoba, Granada, etc. places where cars are useless. For lots on trains check Renfe - Spain's official state rail site - www.seat61.com - great info booking own discounted train tickets; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 05:17 PM
  #9  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,866
Like Christina, I would find either area FAR too hot at that time of year, and as she notes, Madrid is NOT part of southern Spain, either geographically or culturally.

Although the questions are slightly different, you might find some useful information in the following threads, as your family and interests seem remarkably – even unbelievably – similar.
Istria and northern Croatia OR Calabria and Sicily
Sicily in 18 days
Southern Spanish Seaside Villages
Northern or Southern Spain

Best wishes!

Last edited by kja; Jul 5th, 2018 at 05:20 PM.
kja is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2018, 07:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,736
If you click on my screen name you can find my recent trip report for Sicily. We loved it, one of the best trips of our lives. However, it was April. What I would want in June would be to see a lot more of Sicily's many beautiful beaches.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Old Jul 6th, 2018, 07:10 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Hi,

We will be renting a car and driving throughout our vacation, except at the beginning, as we would either land in Madrid or Palermo, where we would spend a few days before renting a car and exploring the region we choose to visit.

In Rhodes we stayed at the Rodos Park Suites, just outside the Old Town. Fantastic hotel and a perfect place to spend time at while in Rhodes.

Thanks tuscanlifeedit, great report and gave me so many ideas on the places I would like to visit if I choose to go to Sicily.
cityoflights is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2018, 04:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,192
Both places are great - of the 2, we absolutely fell in love with Andalucia, didn't feel quite as "in love" with Sicily, but enjoyed it a lot. BUT as others are saying, the weather will be quite hot and that would impact my travel choice. In doing a little research, my sense is that Sicily probably doesn't get quite as hot as southern Spain (though I didn't find a clear comparison), so for time of year, I'd lean toward Sicily of the two places you're considering. 18 days is a good amount of time to visit Sicily, too.
progol is online now  
Old Jul 7th, 2018, 07:57 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Hi progol,

How long were you in both regions? Would you be so kind as to share your basic itineraries for both Sicily and southern Spain? Did you drive? What places did you use as a base?

Thanks
cityoflights is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2018, 11:15 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,602
Am. I spent over 3 wks in Sicily a few years ago and loved it. Incredible in every category of interest and the Sicilians are very welcoming and happy to have you see their beautiful country. My trip was also in spring. Click on my name for my detailes TR. Happy to answer any questions!
Dayle is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2018, 01:42 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,192
Hi, cityoflights,
We were in Andalucia, Toledo and Madrid for a total of 20 nights in May 2015:
Espagne, Olé! Ancient to modern, through Andalucia, Toledo and Madrid

And we were in Sicily for just over 2 weeks in May 2016:
A brief but selective report on our Sicilian sojourn

For reasons that are still not clear to us, we never quite fell for Sicily the way we did for Spain; we suspect that it has to do with family stress at home (my MIL was deteriorating at this time), because our memories of Sicily are very positive. It was also the first trip in several years I didn't have a full 3 weeks for vacation, so it felt different. But we fell head over heels in love with our Spanish trip.
progol is online now  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 08:42 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Thanks for all of your advice.

We found Greece to be relaxing and beautiful, but we were left with the feeling that it was not as "interesting" as our time in Italy, Germany or France, among other countries we have visited. I am not even sure what I mean by that but while the beauty was spectacular, we were left wanting more. Is that what you mean, progol?

Dayle, did you plan to focus on an area of Sicily? We know they may be less travelled, but we would love to also visit the Aeolian Islands and also the western part of Sicily as well if we decide to go to Sicily.

Thanks
cityoflights is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 02:00 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by cityoflights View Post
.
We found Greece to be relaxing and beautiful, but we were left with the feeling that it was not as "interesting" as our time in Italy, Germany or France, among other countries we have visited. I am not even sure what I mean by that but while the beauty was spectacular, we were left wanting more. Is that what you mean, progol?
cityoflights, it’s so hard to pin down exactly. Perhaps “stimulating” is the word to describe our reaction - that is, we didn’t feel as stimulated by Sicily as we did by our trip to Spain. I wanted to love it - so many people do, but we never quite “fell in love”. We did enjoy it, and so many pieces of it were really delightful, yet we came away with a feeling similar to your takeaway from Greece. I still can’t put my finger on it, it was just one of those trips that was good - but didn’t hit the emotional high we had the previous year. And it may be that we’d feel differently if we returned. We were both partial to Andalusia, and it did not disappoint at all. Yet we didn’t love every moment there, either, but we came away from that trip blown away. It was one of those trips that we fell in love and the reasons are no more “logical”than why we didn’t fall as hard for Si ily.
progol is online now  
Old Jul 8th, 2018, 05:19 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,602
Hi cityoflights,

I had read some trip reports here that sparked my initial interest in Sicily which was to visit the Aeolians! I believe the TR was from Aprilliacs, a long time Fodorite, as am I. She had visited twice and did delightful and very descriptive TRs. I also read bobthenavigator's TR, and since I knew from following in bobs footsteps on other trips, we tend to have the same tastes in destinations. As I got studying more about Sicily, I discovered that Sicily has outstanding Greek temples. I love Greek temples! Then I found out Sicily has amazing mosaics in several famous locations! Ding! I love mosaics too.

My original plan of a week in the Aeolians in a lovely villa, quickly grew into a 23 days trip. I loved Sicily and the abundance of everything. History, scenery, nature, mosaics, architecture, food and wine, and on and on. I planned my trip on my own woth help from TRs and Fodorites and the experts on tripadvisor. Traveled solo, drove 9 days and used other trans as needed. Met so many lovely people. The biggest impression was the Sicilian people. So welcoming and so happy to have visitors, so proud of their country.

when you talk about expectations and falling in love with a place, my surprise was that I didnt fall in love with Palermo like I did Rome and Naples. I enjoyed it and I would return, but it just didnt capture me like I expected. But then, Florence didnt capture me either. I think it depends so much on the person and what other variables happen on a trip.

Everyone is different and likes differnt things. The wonderful thing about Sicily is that there is SO much of everything, that you should enjoy it very much!

Let me know of you have questions.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2018, 06:23 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Hi,

As we enjoy combining different areas and regions when we travel, we now plan on visiting southern Spain for 10 days, including Seville, Cadiz and either Cordoba or Granada (any advice?) then flying into Palermo for 2 or 3 days and then ferrying over to the Aeolian Islands for 6 or 7 days.

We were in Naples a few years ago and adored it, even more than Rome, and it is in my top 3 cities that I have visited in all of Europe (especially when you take into the account the great food, including its out of this world pizza). I have always wanted to see Palermo so a few days should be perfect.

Which Aeolian Islands did you visit? Which two would you recommend for our family? Which would have beautiful beaches for us to spend some time at?

Thanks.

Jen
cityoflights is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2018, 08:52 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 23,393
Based on your comment about liking Naples more than Rome, I think you'll enjoy Palermo very much. While there, please remember the nearby beach town of Mondello. DH and I went there by city bus.
TDudette is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO